Would the speed between a 2.66 Ghz Imac and a 2.26 mini be noticible?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Whackintosh, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Whackintosh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #1
    Wondering how big a difference the processor power between the two machines would make in real day to day use.
     
  2. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #2
    Probably a noticeable difference not only because of processor speed but also you get a faster hard drive in the iMac.
     
  3. Whackintosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #3
    True, but were the mini's hdd replaced with a 7200, I'm wondering if the speed for things like dvd burning or mp3 ripping would be significantly different between the two machines.
     
  4. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #4
    The L2 cache on the Mini is also only 3MB, compared to the 6MB of the iMac, so that also contribute to the difference in speed.
     
  5. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #5
    the speed difference probably wouldn't be that great unless you are doing processor intensive tasks.
     
  6. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #6
    I'm not sure about what factors play into DVD burning but I do know that mp3 ripping will be faster with the iMac because of the processor, much like it will be faster to rip/encode a DVD movie using the iMac vs. the Mac Mini.
     
  7. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #7
    I wonder if the imac's disk drive is better than the mac mini's.
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    Except in tasks that are specifically processor intensive, as others have noted here, the hard disk will play the biggest role in how 'fast' each system feels for routine daily use. Laptop drives are generally quite a bit slower than their desktop counterparts because while they may both rotate at 7200 RPM, the Mini uses a 2.5" drive and the Imac uses a 3.5" drive. With the larger drive you get more 'data per revolution' which is in large part why desktop drives are faster than laptop drives.
     
  9. Undecided macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    So whatever happened with 5.25" drives? Just wondering how their disappearance fits in with the larger-is-faster model.
     
  10. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #10
    Well it's a complex problem that I frankly don't fully understand - but here goes:

    Essentially there are two main functions performed by the HDD that are somewhat at odds with one another. First, you have maximum transfer rate; whether reading or writing. This can be improved by increasing the diameter of the platter, or by increasing the rotational speed. Second, you have random access speed or seek time. This is improved by reducing the platter size because the actuator heads have a smaller distance to travel, and random sectors are physically closer together. It can also be improved by increasing rotational speed as once the actuator has found the correct cylinder, the faster the disk is rotating, the less time it must wait for the correct sector to rotate under the heads.

    There are also some physical benefits to smaller drives, as smaller platters are more rigid, have less mass to spin up, (requiring less power) and should be quieter and run cooler than larger drives.

    Anyhow, what it comes down to, I guess, is that 3.5" drives provided a good balance of high transfer rates, and relatively low seek times in a good size package, and as the industry tends to settle on some standard, 3.5" was it.
     
  11. OldMike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #11
    When it comes to disk drives, I look at the mini as having more positive attributes. Although it could be easier, replacing the hard drive in a mini is much easier than doing so in the iMac (at least I would replace the drive in a mini, whereas I would not consider doing so in an iMac).

    The newest generation of Solid State Disks (just released) look to be very good and offer ridiculous I/O rates. A 7200 rpm 3.5" disk drive would pale in comparison to an SSD.

    And with the mini now having a FW800 port, you can achieve almost identical performance on an external drive as you could on the iMacs internal drive. The mini could have the best of both worlds, super fast SSD disk space for speed and a fast 7200 rpm external FW800 HDD for storage.
     
  12. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #12
    Agreed, OldMike. Another element where the Mini wins is in noise and power consumption. The hard disk in my iMac is the noisiest part of the computer by far, and it will be replaced as soon as the price of an Intel 160GB (or larger) drive falls to a more reasonable threshold.
     
  13. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #13
    Ugh, Seriously I don't understand why people are so willing to replace stuff in a Mini but won't even touch a iMac.

    I just replaced my stock 320GB HD n my iMac to a 1TB and it was THE SAME difficulty as replacing both the HD and RAM in my Mini.

    If anything the Mini is scarier because you have to pry and pop off the top vs. the iMac just having more screws to account for, which is easy, just get a piece of paper and tape the screws to it then mark where it was with a pencil.
     

Share This Page